Dismissal for work affair overturned but no reinstatement

Bank manager has sexual relationship with subordinate while being investigated for other misconduct
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 03/20/2013

A BMO branch manager who had a sexual relationship with a subordinate and acted inappropriately towards other employees was unjustly dismissed but shouldn’t be reinstated, the Federal Court of Appeal has ruled.

Mark Payne, 62, was the manager of a Bank of Montreal (BMO) branch in Woodstock, Ont., and had been with BMO since August 2003. In September 2008 five female employees made complaints against him, claiming he had demeaned them in front of co-workers and customers, as well as other inappropriate conduct. BMO suspended Payne with pay while it investigated.

The investigation found the complaints had merit and on Oct. 16, 2008, Payne was given an action plan to change his behaviour and understand the difference between what was appropriate and what was inappropriate behaviour. This stage of discipline was the most serious, short of dismissal.